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Public Hunting

Since up to 95 percent of Texas is privately owned, TPWD provides low-cost access to more than 1 million acres of land for hunting through its public hunting program.

The available properties include most wildlife management areas, some state parks and many leased properties. Mentored hunts and youth hunts, as well as hunts for game besides deer, are available.

“For those individuals who don’t have a place to go, the public hunting program offers that, through the drawn hunts we do every season or the Annual Public Hunting Permit that we issue every year for hunting on lands we administer,” says Kelly Edmiston, TPWD public hunting coordinator.

TPWD’s drawn hunt program offers a chance to apply for a wide variety of hunts. Applicants can pick a species they’d like to hunt, an available hunting area and hunt date for that species, then fill out a special permit application ($3 fee) and hope to get drawn. If drawn, participants are assigned to specific areas to hunt at the property. The odds of being drawn vary; most deer drawings wrap up September 15.

TPWD’s Annual Public Hunting Permit ($48, valid from September 1 to August 31) provides walk-in hunting on approximately 1.2 million acres of land. The public hunting map booklet provides maps, directions, dates to hunt, allowed firearms and types of game. These are do-it-yourself hunts, with planning and sometimes scouting needed.

“If you’ve got a deer lease out in the Hill Country, you might not have access to pheasant there, but by getting an Annual Public Hunting Permit you get access to areas in the Panhandle where you can go pheasant hunting, or quail hunting,” Edmiston says. “You can hunt gray squirrel in East Texas or chachalaca down in the Valley.”

For information, go to tpwd.texas.gov/publichunting.

A GUIDE TO WHITE-TAILED DEER

(Almost) Everything Whitetail

In the Wild: Focus On the Eyes

In The Wild: Leave Fawns Alone

In the Wild: What the Rut?!

Before the Hunt: The Epicenter of Deer Research

Before the Hunt: Stay Safe in Deer Camp

Before the Hunt: Learn Before You Leave

Before the Hunt: The Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety

The Hunt: Becoming a Deer Hunter

The Hunt: Become a Legend

The Harvest: A Life-like Vision

The Harvest: Wall-to-Wall Antlers

The Harvest: Ancient Rock Stars?

The Harvest: Hunters for the Hungry

The Feast: Venison Backstrap Stuffed with Pecan and Cranberry

The Feast: How to Butterfly and Truss a Loin

The Feast: Oh-So-Spicy Venison Ribs

The Feast: Venison Loin

The Feast: Venison Sourdough Toast

The Feast: Cooking Tips from Tim Love

The Stories: A Fever for Fiction


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